Dignitatis Humanae: continuity after Leo XIII

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Dignitatis Humanae of Vatican II did not contradict previous Catholic teaching on religious liberty. So I have argued, appealing to the teaching on Church and state of Leo XIII. The authority to direct religion coercively always belonged to the Church, not the state. And Dignitatis Humanae says nothing to deny the Church’s authority to coerce religiously. This paper shows that the commission at Vatican II that drafted the declaration gave the very same interpretation as me – from 1964 on consistently invoking the teaching of Leo XIII, admitting that religion is subject to the coercive authority of the Church, and denying that this authority is in any way addressed by the declaration. My interpretation of the declaration was the official interpretation at the Council.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDignitatis Humanae Colloquium
PublisherDialogos Institute
Number of pages31
ISBN (Print)1533187347
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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